Annie S. Michigan

Addiction is a family disease

Addiction is a family disease and addicts, family members and friends should understand that everything will be okay, they are not alone and help is readily available.

Dear future president,

There are roughly 23.5 million people in the United States who use and abuse drugs. There are millions of people in the United States who do not use or abuse drugs yet are affected by those who do. There are millions of people- whether addicted or not- who are affected by drugs and are scared, helpless, and have the mindset of feeling alone. Those people need to know that they are not alone, everything will be okay, and there is always help readily available.

Addicts are often treated as a nuisance to our society who are selfish and uncontrollable. Yet, they should be treated as if they have a disease that they cannot control -because that is what addiction is, a disease.

So my only request and expectation of you, Mr./Mrs. President is to approach addiction as a disease. Become and advocate for addicts of all kinds because your support helps. I am a proud supporter of recovering addicts because that is who my mother is, an addict. I have lived with and witnessed her grow and ride into her road of recovery. Watching my mother struggle to keep her life and keep it in order, since drugs had taken over her every thought is a hard thing to witness. While she was in recovery, I began to think that it was my fault that she was in the first place. I thought I was completely and utterly alone in the situation. It was a weird and sad time for everyone involved, but especially for a young girl like me.

I now know that I was not the only one having to experience such an intense obstacle. No one is ever or should ever feel alone. About 76 million Americans are exposed to addiction in their families, and that is close to 43 percent of the United States population. I was just one of those 76 million people who were going through the same thing.

I am not asking you to end the war on drugs, because that is impossible, i am simply asking you to care and help. Children, husbands, siblings, friends, families and addicts need to know that they are not alone, they will be okay and that addiction is a family disease - meaning that no one can overcome addiction on their own.

Thank you,

Annie S.

Oakland Writing Project (Michigan) - CASA

CASA - AP Lang

9th-12th grade students who come from 3 different schools.

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